Exercises for Days You don't Have Time to Exercise
January 22, 2017
Hey, I get it. You live a busy life. But don't let that be an excuse to skip workouts. On days you know you can't make it to the gym, try these multitask-friendly exercises:
Squats (static or dynamic)
The squat is one of the best exercises for strengthening the lower extremities. To make it extra challenging without the use of weights, try a 60 s static squat.
When: While brushing your teeth, cooking, on the phone, waiting for the microwave to beep, or watching TV.
Main muscles: Quadriceps and glutes.
Tour de work
Commuting can be used as an opportunity for cardiovascular exercise. If you're lucky you can walk to work. If not, hop on your bike.
When: To and from work, errands, and the gym.
Main muscles: Quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, glutes, and the heart.
Calf raises are easy to do and fairly discreet, perfect when you have to stand for a long time. Aside from training the muscles in your lower legs, calf raises also improve blood circulation.
When: Standing in line, on the phone, while cooking, brushing your teeth, or while reading or watching TV.
Main muscles: Calves.
You’re waiting for the pasta to boil, why not do some jumping jacks while you’re waiting? If you have downstairs neighbors try a low-impact variety:
When: On the phone, while cooking, or watching tv.
Main muscles: Whole body, the heart.
Planks are great for your core musculature and help strengthen virtually every muscle on your front side.
When: On the phone, waiting for the microwave to beep, or while reading.
Main muscles: Abdominals.
Walking lunges are great by themselves and fantastic when combined with stairs. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and climb two steps at a time. For flat surfaces, alternating between front and reverse lunges activates every major muscle in your legs.
When: Climbing stairs, on the phone, or walking the dog.
Main muscles: Quadriceps, glutes, calves, hip adductors, and hamstrings.
Walk the dog
It's good for you and it's good for your pooch. If you happen to live in a hilly area consider doing some intervals up and down the street.
When: When it's time for the dog to do his business.
Main muscles: The heart.
For parents of small children:
Squat and press
Add some exercise to playtime with the kids. With an extra participant working out is double the fun. (The rolled up mat is used in place of a child for demonstration.)
When: During playtime.
Main muscles: Quadriceps, glutes, core, and shoulders.
One of the best bodyweight exercises to strengthen the upper body, push-ups can be made more fun and challenging by adding some extra weight. See how many push-ups you can do with your child on your back. If you don't have a human child you can always use one of your pet goats, like this guy.
When: During playtime.
Main muscles: Pectorals, triceps, and front shoulders.
That's how easy it is to squeeze a few exercises into a busy schedule. With a bit of multitasking you can check off all your to-dos and still get your daily dose of exercise.